Gary Mittelstaedt began serving as WaterAfrica President in October 2014. He had joined the WaterAfrica Board in 2012 with a desire to make meaningful difference in the lives of those living in extreme poverty. He and his wife Judi traveled to Zambia with WaterAfrica in 2010 and saw first-hand the life transformations that began for village people when clean, sustainable water is provided by the World Vision Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Program. They learned how foundational this healthy water is for all subsequent community development efforts including food security, health, children’s education, and economic empowerment. Their second trip to Zambia in 2015 was very exciting to see the tremendous progress that was being made. Gary retired from Intel Corporation January 1, 2014, following career in global business and technology development with companies in the US, EU, China, and India.
Stuart Brown is a founding board member and Vice President of WaterAfrica. His interest in water and sanitation issues in Africa is both professional and personal. Professionally, for more than 30 years he has worked as an environmental consultant on water supply development and groundwater cleanup projects throughout the United States. Personally, he has committed himself to furthering the work of WaterAfrica in transforming the lives of villagers in Zambia through improved water supply and sanitation, as well as transforming the lives of those who support WaterAfrica. In 2010, he traveled to Zambia to observe first-hand the ZWASH project and visit villages where boreholes have been drilled and are planned in the future.
Kevin Cummings is a founding board member of WaterAfrica and currently serves as Treasurer. In 2007 he traveled to Zambia on a church sponsored World Vision trip and his heart was broken as he witnessed the lack of safe drinking water sources. He observed women and girls walking long distances to retrieve water from contaminated shallow wells and from streams used for bathing and for watering livestock. Desiring to live out his calling in life to be the hands and feet of Christ, he is committed to providing safe water for people in Zambia.
Kinton Fowler and his wife have been sponsoring children in Africa through World Vision for 15 years. This raised his awareness of the water and sanitation needs in Africa. But in 2007, while on a World Vision trip to Zambia, he became acutely aware of these needs as he traveled through Zambia and saw women using the polluted streams to wash their clothing and dishes and then gather their drinking water from the same streams. He visited villages and saw the difference clean water and sanitation made in their lives. Soon after his return, he and his wife sponsored a well through WaterAfrica in a remote village in Zambia. He remains committed today to clean water for all in need.
Mary Austin joined the Board in September 2014. Mary traveled to Zambia with Water Africa’s first Travel Team in 2008 and her heart was captured by the need to bring fresh water to people living in rural Zambia. Mary has served in Walk4Water leadership for 9 years, working with a team of volunteers to create a walk that has become a tradition for many families in Lake Oswego. Mary traveled to Zambia again in 2012, with a group from her church, Lake Grove Presbyterian. On both trips, she was able to visit her sponsored child in Sinazongwe, Zambia. After a long career with Procter & Gamble in sales & marketing, Mary now works for World Vision as a Donor Liaison Manager. Zambia is one of her team countries, along with 5 others in Africa & Asia. Mary lives in Tualatin and has 3 children, 2 granddaughters, and 4 sponsored World Vision children.
Sandi Swinford recently retired from her career in business and she joined the WaterAfrica board in September 2015. Sandi first became involved with WaterAfrica in 2005, when her older son worked on a high school biology project focused on access to clean water. A group of students and their families expanded this work and engaged the help of Bill and Diane Savage, as they worked together to raise money for a borehole in Zambia. A long-time supporter of World Vision projects and child sponsorship, Sandi traveled to Zambia with WaterAfrica in July 2015 and saw firsthand the transformation that comes through World Vision’s Water Program in rural villages. Sandi and her husband currently live in Colorado Springs and she is organizing WaterAfrica’s first Walk4Water Colorado Springs – May 2016!
Bill Hall, a retired civil engineer and past president of a consulting firm, joined the board in October 2014. He has been involved with World Vision for many years sponsoring children, as well as supporting World Vision endeavors around the world. Bill visited Africa in 1998 on a hiking trip climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, as a fund-raising event for youth, and became aware of the poverty in many of the areas. Bill had been involved in past years in India giving for education, fish hatcheries, etc. Education for women in Afghanistan and Pakistan has been an avid interest also. Bill has a Christian philosophy of giving, volunteering, and serving. As an engineer, he has the background on building projects, and as a caring individual, wants to see the villages have clean, available water, hygiene and sanitation.